Operations research or operational research in British usage, is a discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. It is often considered to be a sub-field of mathematics.
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- [The decisionmaking role of the firm has progressed from the neoclassical standpoint of profit maximization to sales maximization, utility maximization, and satisficing. From the Operation Research point of view] ...the ideal picture is that someone, presumable the firm that hires the operations researcher, hands him, on a silver platter, an objective function. By talking to the engineers, or by looking into a few scientific laws, he determines the policy alternatives available and also the model
- Kenneth Arrow (1984) cited in: Demetri Kantarelis (2008) "Book Review: Title: Theories Of The Firm 2nd Edition". In: The American economist. Vol 52, Nr 1. p. 117
- The development (rather than the history) of operations research as a science consists of the development of its methods, concepts, and techniques. Operations research is neither a method nor a technique; it is or is becoming a science and as such is defined by a combination of the phenomena it studies.
- Russell L. Ackoff (1956) "The development of operations research as a science" in; Operations Research Vol 4. pp.265-295
- We may recognize the subject of management cybernetics — which is seen as a rich provider of models for doing Operations research.
- Anthony Stafford Beer (1966) Decision and control: the meaning of operational research and management cybernetics, p.239
- The aim of management science is to display the best course of action in a given set of circumstances, and this must include all the circumstances.
- Anthony Stafford Beer (1968) Management Science p. 61
- Linear programming is viewed as a revolutionary development giving man the ability to state general objectives and to find, by means of the simplex method, optimal policy decisions for a broad class of practical decision problems of great complexity. In the real world, planning tends to be ad hoc because of the many special-interest groups with their multiple objectives.
- George Dantzig (1983) "Reminiscences about the origins of linear programming". In: Mathematical programming : the state of the art. New York, 1983, p.78-86.
- The concern of OR with finding an optimum decision, policy, or design is one of its essential characteristics. It does not seek merely to define a better solution to a problem than the one in use; it seeks the best solution... [It] can be characterized as the application of scientific methods, techniques, and tools to problems involving the operations of systems so as to provide those in control of the operations with optimum solutions to the problems.
- C. West Churchman (1957) Introduction to Operations Research, p.8
- OR is the securing of improvement in social systems by means of scientific method
- C. West Churchman (1970) "Operations research as a profession" cited in: Arjang A. Assad, Saul I. Gass (2011) Profiles in Operations Research: Pioneers and Innovators. p.181
- INFORMS OR/MS Resource Collection: a comprehensive set of Operations research links.
- International Federation of Operational Research Societies